This study analyses how pre-school children who differ in terms of maternal education respond to and interpret the images and written text in the same two picture books, one informational (The sleepy book[Zolotow and Bobri, 1960]) and one narrative (The baby who wouldn’t go to bed[Cooper, 1996]). Twelve children were recorded in their homes interacting with their mothers, and 12 children were recorded in their pre-schools interacting with a teacher. There were systematic differences in the manner in which the children who were interacting with their pre-school teachers responded to the texts compared with the children who were interacting with their mothers. The pre-school teachers provided the children of early school leaving mothers with opportunities to interact with text, which differed from those provided by their mothers. Such differences were not apparent to the same extent for the children of tertiary-educated mothers.